Sam Bradford hit Jordan Matthews for a 41-yard touchdown on the first drive of overtime to give the Philadelphia Eagles a 33-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff in overtime, and drove into Dallas territory before DeMarco Murray converted on a 4th-and-1 at the Cowboys 43. On the next play, Bradford hit Matthews over the middle and he raced through the Cowboys defense to win it.
The win moves the Eagles (4-4) within a half-game of the first-place New York Giants, while the Cowboys are in last place at 2-6.
The Cowboys struck first with a 93-yard drive sparked by a 51-yard catch-and-run by Dez Bryant. a Cassel finished it off with a five-yard pass to Cole Beasley. Philadelphia tied the game on a fourth-down 1-yard run by DeMarco Murray.
Dallas nearly took the lead at the end of the half, but a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cassel to Terrance Williams was negated by an offensive pass interference penalty, and a third-down sack by Brandon Graham knocked Dallas out of field-goal range.
The Eagles took a 14-7 lead when Bradford led them on a 95-yard drive that was keyed by a 44-yard swing pass-and-run to Murray, but Cassel and Beasley teamed up for for a 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the score late in the third quarter.
On the next Dallas drive, though, Cassel rolled right and tried a swing pass to Darren McFadden, but linebacker Jordan Hicks jumped the route and cruised down the field for a 67-yard interception return and a 21-14 Philadelphia lead. Hicks was also responsible for Tony Romo's broken clavicle in Week 2.
Lucky Whitehead returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the Philadelphia 23, and Cassel threw a jump ball into the corner of the end zone. Bryant out-jumped five other players to make the catch, using Whitehead's hip to steady the ball as he fell.
Throwing the pass was a terrible idea on Cassel's part - he basically threw a Hail Mary with 10 minutes left with Dallas in field-goal range - but it tied the game at 21.
Caleb Sturgis made it 24-21 with a 31-yard field goal with 7:24 to play, but Dan Bailey answered with a 41-yarder with 2:53 left, tying the game for the fourth time.
The Eagles came right back down the field, but the Cowboys held them to another Sturgis field goal - this one from 53 yards with 1:46 to left. Cassel converted a 4th-and-5 early in the ensuing drive, and two pass-interference penalties kept the drive alive.
With 12 seconds, Cassel hit Bryant at the Philadelphia 31 and the Cowboys used their final timeout. After a defensive-holding call, Bailey banked home a 41-yard field goal off the left upright to force overtime.
Three things we learned
1) Greg Hardy does stupid things on the football field as well
With Hardy back in the spotlight after the release of photos showing how much damage he did to Nicole Holder in May, 2014, people could have been excused for thinking Hardy would be on his best behavior on national TV Sunday night.
To be fair, picking up a ridiculous personal foul for shoving over one of the Eagles on an extra point might be Hardy's best behavior. However, unlike a horrendous domestic-violence arrest, a penalty that cost the Cowboys 15 yards might upset Jerry Jones or Jason Garrett.
2) Matt Cassel has developed a comfort level with Cole Beasley
Every quarterback has a receiver that they can count on in tough situations, and for Cassel, it has become Beasley. Besides the two touchdown passes, Cassel went to Beasley over the middle on every opportunity, especially when he was under pressure.
Beasley finished with nine catches for 112 yards.
3) Sean Lee can't stay on the field
Cowboys LB Sean Lee left the game with a brain injury, his second in six weeks. Starting with his career at Penn State, where he suffered two major knee injuries, he has struggled to stay healthy. He's one of the NFL's best linebackers, but has only played 54 of 88 regular-season games since being drafted.